About Catalyst Initiative

Launched in 2013, Sundance Institute’s Catalyst Initiative connects culturally-engaged investors with the world of independent film and the Sundance community. The invitation-only Catalyst Forum, to be held September 18-21, 2016 at the Sundance Resort, offers approximately 35 prospective financiers the opportunity to meet the creative teams behind 10 highly-anticipated feature and documentary film projects, selected by Sundance Institute’s Program Directors. Over three days in Utah’s beautiful Wasatch Mountains, the program delves into the risks and rewards of film investing through project presentations, case studies, round table discussions, industry seminars, special screenings and artist conversations. Project presentations, individually scheduled meetings, and informal social gatherings allow investors to interface directly with filmmakers, top advisors, and Sundance program leadership. The goal is to foster a meaningful dialogue that opens new paths to production for the most promising new independent films.

Impact of Catalyst Initiative

As a result of the first three Catalyst Forum gatherings (2013, 2014, and 2015), $6.9 million was raised for documentary and fiction film projects presented at Catalyst. Rich Hill won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Four Catalyst projects premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival including The Hunting Ground, Cartel Land (U.S. Documentary Directing and Cinematography Awards), 3 ½ Minutes and Ten Bullets (Special Jury Award for Social Impact) and The Witch (U.S. Dramatic Directing Award). Catalyst films The Bad Kids (Special Jury Award for Verite Filmmaking), Hooligan Sparrow, Newtown, Audrie & Daisy and Jacqueline (Argentine) premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Other Catalyst projects--Indian Point (2015 Tribeca Film Festival), Speed Sisters (2015 Hot Docs Film Festival), Mediterranea (2015 Cannes Film Festival), Shadow World (2016 Tribeca Film Festival), Solitary (2016 Tribeca Film Festival) and They Call Us Monsters (2016 Los Angeles Film Festival)--are flourishing. Two additional Catalyst projects, Los Valientes and Patti Cake$, are currently in production.

We look forward to sharing a new slate of exciting projects with you in September 2016!

Catalyst Women

Sundance Institute and The Harnisch Foundation have joined forces to launch Catalyst Women, a groundbreaking new program offering creative investors the opportunity to directly support women-led film projects! The inaugural program will take place May 4–5, 2017 in New York City. To participate in this event or to learn more about the Catalyst and Women at Sundance communities, contact Becca Keating, assistant director of individual giving, at or 310-360-1981.